'During WWI the price of rubber rose dramatically. Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone were concerned with this national issue. Edison planned to discover a domestic source of rubber from a latex (a white milky sap) producing plant. The three friends formed the Edison Botanic Research Corporation in 1927 and the lab was built in 1928 to support rubber research and development.
17,000 specimens of nearly 2,200 species were planted at the Fort Myers estate. Extensive research proved goldenrod, a common weed, produced latex. Edison's 1,090th patent received was connected to his rubber research, for the process of extracting rubber from plants.
Today the Laboratory is filled with original apparatus and equipment that Edison used to conduct his rubber research, as well as the cot where Edison took "catnaps" while working in the Laboratory.'